Financial Fitness Task 9: Calculate the Cost of Your Commute #30DaysofGOOD

How much is your ride costing you?

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for January?Financial Fitness.

Calculate the cost of your commute.

If you find yourself in a routine of driving to work because it's quicker than busing, or taking a train because it's less sweaty than biking, there might be a financial incentive to shake up your commuting schedule. At least, that's what I figured out when I used the IRS's automobile standard mileage rate of $.55/ mile to put a price tag on my annual commute.

While the actual amount could vary depending on what kind of car you drive, I'll trust the federal government's projection that my 4.8 mile commute in my Honda Civic costs me $26.40 weekly. I'd estimate that I'm in the office roughly 46 weeks of the year, when I subtract for work-from-home days, vacation, and travel. So if I were to commute by car every single day that I go into the office, I'd spend $1,214.40 just to get from my house to work (Damn! See math below). That's a huge investment considering I spend all day on the placeless internet anyway.

Luckily, GOOD provides its employees free bus passes, and coworkers who double as neighbors make carpooling easier. These options are completely free for me to take advantage of. Taking the bus or hitching a ride just two out of every five days of the work week—which I do already—saves me $486 a year. Another way to save money (and my health and the planet, of course) is to bike to work. Biking isn't free: L.A.'s mean streets wreak hell on my Bianchi. More commuting equals more money on new tubes and bike repairs. California lets employees charge their employers $.04 a mile for biking expenses. So, if I managed to bike once a week instead of driving, I could save an additional $225 per year.

Add it to the 2012 resolutions list!
(4.8 miles * $.55 / miles * 2 times/ day * 5 times / week = $26.4 per week
$26.4/ week * 46 weeks/ year = $1,214.40 / year)

Come back tomorrow for the next task in our financial fitness challenge.

Propose an idea here for a project or workshop that promotes financial fitness in your community. The top-voted idea will win $500 to implement the project.

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading